I deleted my original post for this week (about 2,000 words) because it isn’t worth the headache anymore. It’s legitimately naive of me to believe I matter at all in the specific space I addressed. There are still plenty of others in which I do; I am not without alternatives and I know I’m not without support.
I keep coming back to a piece Jay Stringer dropped this week. It resonated with me on a few levels; especially in regards to a lot of my talk regarding making change. We’ve covered that in other entries – the difficulties, the means of prioritizing and finding the proper channels – and how that weight can really bring you to your knees. I think Jay puts a lot of what I’m feeling into better context, so it’s worth a read.
The piece made me think about what I wrote last week and what I need to needle in on that’s actually worth my time.
On an unrelated note: I’m also excited about a lot of the guests I have coming onto the bastard title. Screenwriters, poets, publishers, and others. More POC and more folks you maybe haven’t heard about but should have. It’s going to be a blast and I hope y’all enjoy the talks. This podcast is ultimately about conversations with people that interest me – if you ever wonder what drives the guest list. I hope that enthusiasm has come across so far.
30 writers. 2 beloved mainstays of the crime community. 1 victim. An AWESOME cause.
A few months ago I got an FB message from Dan & Kate Malmon – I screamed “YES” at my scream before I finished reading what they sent (and promptly realized I’d need to type a response, but that’s neither here nor there).
I’ll explain a little better. A scant three years ago I was hitting up a family wedding in a town called Roseville near the Twin Cities. Hearing I’d be around, these two absolutely wonderful, generous, and uber-nerdy (a great thing) souls contacted me to say they literally lived right there.
We went out for tots and I’ve loved them since.
Obviously, I’d drop everything to kill one of them on paper.
That said, my story is not the best in this collection BY FAR. I mean, look at this god damn list:
Hector Acosta, Eric Beetner, Dana Cameron, Sarah M. Chen, Matthew Clemens, Angel Colón, Hilary Davidson, Cory Funk, Danny Gardner, Paul J. Garth, Rob Hart, Ed Kurtz, Steve W. Lauden, Russel McLean, Jeff Macfee, Erin Mitchell, Erica Ruth Neubauer, Brad Parks, Thomas Pluck, Bryon Quertermous, Todd Robinson, Jeff Shelby, Nathan Singer, Josh Stallings, Jay Stringer, R.D. Sullivan, Bryan VanMeter, Holly West and Dave White.
Seriously, this is totally worth your time. Bonus? Proceeds go to the MS Society (speaking of which, if you feel the need to give them money straight up; click HERE).
MS sucks and if takes killing a Dan Malmon to help rid the world of it, hey, I’ll kill a Dan Malmon.
Oh, uh, sure, ON PAPER. I should add that in case “accidents” happen.
So, a little fun for the three of ya’ll reading. Back on Augist 31st, the Malmons invaded Manhattan! We threw a surprise Noir at The Bar to celebrate and since I take advice from some of the best at heart (thanks, Johnny Shaw) I wrote a short piece just for the event. I wanted to class things up and read a eulogy to the dearly, 30-time departed Dan Malmon.
Since a lot of you weren’t there (shame), here’s Dan’s eulogy. The poor, poor bastard.
While I’m glad we’re here to celebrate the life and many, many deaths of Dan Malmon. I think I should take some time to clear the air and admit my complicity in his 100% actual, untimely, yet unsurprising death a few weeks ago – even if he is currently tweeting about comics, use your fucking imagination.
I don’t think I need to get into the details regarding that awful Tuesday afternoon where Dan was discovered face-down in a ball pit at a Chuck E Cheese in Little Laos by a group of fourth grade students on a field trip—the medical examiner would say he somehow drowned—or that he was found wearing only a Chuck Knoblauch Yankees jersey that was two sizes too small.
It’s difficult, but I have to confess to how Dan was led into that shallow ball pit. About how he was dressed in that baseball jersey. I have to talk about the hunger I helped start in him; that insatiable appetite so many treated so lightly.
I am of course, talking about the Kit Kat problem.
I shouldn’t have mailed Dan those off-market Japanese Kit Kats. It was a joke, I figured, there’d be no way he’d even eat the damn things—they were sweet potato-flavored for fuck’s sake but eat them he did. Then he asked for any leads on online orders—seemed innocent enough—but apparently it wasn’t bringing him the satisfaction he craved after being exposed to so many flavors added in factories that clearly did not follow guidelines meant to protect humans and/or livestock.
I remember seeing him a few weeks before everything went sour. Dan was up to his ears in debt with the Laotian mob—who were selling him white chocolate Kit Kats dipped in cheap colored stevia; a common black market tactic. He was jittery. Kept asking me if I could ‘give him a break’. I didn’t know what else to do but give him a few dollars and the URL for a Japanese site that shipped to the states.
He did not accept the hug I offered, though. I felt like that was a good sign, that maybe he was down in the dumps but not enough to accept the physical embrace he so very much despised.
Everything after that is hearsay, but Dan may have fallen into a spiral of refined sugars, palm oil, and whey powder. He was getting heavily involved in the dodge ball gambling scene based out of a downtown YWCA in order to get access to their vending machines.
I guess I’m in the reeds. I’m sorry for enabling Dan to follow such a dark path. For giving him the address of that Chuck E Cheese after hearing the guy who does the voice of the animatronic bear had a line on cough syrup-flavored Kit Kats without confirmation. It’s a damn shame and I’ll always be sort of sorry for that.
That said, I intend to honor Dan’s final wishes—as detailed in the strange, broken English-riddled note found conspicuously next to his body that instructed us to cremate him without question and to leave any and all of his valuable belongings in front of the Chuck E Cheese he was found in. We are also, and I add this was a stipulation that was firmly requested to be read out loud tonight, we are also VERY MUCH CERTAIN THIS UNTIMELY AND ACCIDENTAL DEATH HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE KIND, GENEROUS Mr. Keophoxai (“K-op-A-sigh”), WHO IS NOT AT ALL CONNECTED WITH THE LAOTIAN MAFIA, black market candy scene, animatronic voice over artist union. He is only a DJ at Jizzney Land Gentleman’s Club and he was working a double shift the night of Dan’s death who he actually did not really know at all when he thought about it.
So, thanks for coming out tonight and thanks to the readers. We burn the body tomorrow. It’s BYOB, by the way. Also, bring some extra cash. We’ll be collecting to help pay off Dan’s dodge ball debt.
Click all the links above. Go read. Be a better person.
So I finally finished the first draft to BLACKY JAGUAR AGAINST THE COOL CLUX CULT!!!, the follow up to my wildly acknowledged novella, THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR.
Only took about a year to write a fucking novella (among a ton of other projects, thankfully).
This was a tough one. Not because of any fears regarding expectations. I try not to think about how folks take the work once it’s pubbed and read. If they like it, great; if not, there’s not much I can do – them’s the breaks.
So why did this take so long?
Well, I probably chose a pretty terrible time to write a semi-satirical homage to movies like Walking Tall and Billy Jack in the modern American South while 99% of the racial insanity has been going on. It’s a tricky balance. There’s more characters here, more viewpoints, more opportunities to completely fuck things up.
But that’s the goal. Blacky works in juxtaposition with serious subjects. In Fury, we had the sex trade. In this one; social movements, exploiters of said social movements, and what comes when said causes become tainted. It’s slightly heady, but there are plenty of beatings and cursing.
Mind you, this is still a first draft, but I’m happy with it. I’m looking forward to folks meeting Broderick Kimbo, Erica Ramos, and Neil Clancy. They’re interesting characters and all have similar motivations.
Hopefully, I’ll nail the landing.
And hopefully, we’ll have more news about release soon – well, as soon as I mail Ron Earl the goddamn finished manuscript.
Extra also: I’ll hopefully have some more news about my upcoming novella, NO HAPPY ENDINGS, soon too!
Next week, folks get to read a story I am very proud of, “Separation Anxiety”, in the newest All Due Respect. Big thanks to Chris Rhatigan and Mike Monson for thinking enough of my writing to include in this anthology along with:Jake Hinkson, Alec Cizak, Mike McCrary, Jessica Adams, Patti Abbott, Chris Leek, Jen Conley, and Rob Hart!